May 2022, Youth4Mountains has just ended: a series of 3 international workshops dedicated to youth entrepreneurship in mountain areas which saw the participation of young people from mountain ranges all over the world. A perfect example of the “glocal” and innovative approach on which the new MOUNTAINSIDE master’s degree course is based, at the UNIMONT […]
The new Master’s Degree course in VALORIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF MOUNTAIN AREAS, promoted by the UNIMONT centre of the University of Milan, belongs to category LM 73: the only Master’s degree category that includes the sustainable development of mountain areas among its objectives.
The UNIMONT centre of the University of Milan is launching a new international Master’s Degree course in VALORIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF MOUNTAIN AREAS (LM-73) with the aim of preparing professionals capable of promoting the development and sustainable management of mountain territories.
The Master’s Degree Course in VALORIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF MOUNTAIN AREAS, taught in English, aims to form professionals who are capable of promoting the enhancement, development and sustainable management of mountain territories, by applying innovative approaches and a systemic vision. Multidisciplinary training will integrate environmental and agro-forestry knowledge with proficiency in the economic, legal, historical-geographical and communication skills necessary to clearly delineate the specifics of mountain territories. The graduate will be able to promote the creation of products and/or services of economic and social value beginning from the specific environmental, natural and agro-forestry resources of the mountains, following the principles of sustainability and in relation to local and global processes operating at the level of environmental (e.g., climate change) and socio-economic factors (depopulation, competitiveness and new models of development, etc.) and related national, European and international intervention policies.
The master’s degree program will allow graduates to acquire concrete knowledge, skills and abilities specific to the environmental characteristics of mountain agro-forest ecosystems, specific technologies and methods for monitoring and sustainable management of the mountain environment and its resources, and to optimize the services rendered (ecosystem services, tourism, etc.) and the products that can be obtained. Indeed, the training aims to promote the sustainable enhancement of the specific resources of mountain territories in strategic sectors for the economy such as tourism (e.g., planning and promotion of greenways and paths, dissemination/environmental education), energy from renewable sources, as well as (with regard to “bio-resources” and mountain agrobiodiversity) traditional local short supply chains (e.g. agritourism companies, catering, crafts, etc.) but also in typical industrial supply chains in various sectors such as agri-food, medicinal/health, nutraceutical, cosmetic, manufacturing (e.g. textile) biotechnology, or in the context of the bioeconomy and the circular economy. The specific knowledge, skills and competence of a historical-geographical, juridical-legislative and economic nature will allow the graduate to contribute to the development of business, marketing of product, service and territorial strategies, appropriate to the mountain context, both for the start-up of new businesses and for the planning and management of interventions in the context of programs and strategies for the development of these areas. Furthermore, the expert professional of the mountain territory knows how to use effective communication techniques and methodologies (transversal skills applicable across a range of sectors) including the most innovative digital technologies (web, social, etc.). This is essential to effective interaction with service and innovation centres, between the mountain and urban, local and “global” scales, for continuous training, networking, technical-scientific dissemination and outreach, as well as the marketing of the territory and its products and services.
The master’s degree in VALORIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF MOUNTAIN AREAS is characterized by unique elements with regard to training for the management and sustainable development of mountain territories, including international orientation – the inclusion of these territories in an international framework of dialogue is essential to their development – and multidisciplinarity. Another unique aspect is the logistical location of the course, which takes place entirely at the UNIMONT pole of the University of Milan, which has been active for 25 years at Edolo (a mountain municipality in the central Alps) exclusively dedicated to the development of mountain areas through teaching, research and third mission activities. The location of the centre favours teaching within the mountain environment and gives students the opportunity to experience, on a day-to-day basis, the characteristics of the territory that, as professionals, they will influence. However, from a methodological and operational point of view students are guaranteed an experience that is anything but “local”, as UNIMONT is part of an “ecosystem” that includes the main sector stakeholders at regional, national and international levels, effectively connecting the local dimension with the supra-local, facilitating the processes of innovation, capacity building and empowerment of human capital essential for the enhancement of these territories. Therefore, the master course is specific for mountain areas, includes multidisciplinary and the connection between the local and the global dimension.
The Master’s Degree belongs to the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the University of Milan.
From a methodological and operational point of view students are guaranteed an experience that is anything but “local”, as UNIMONT is part of an “ecosystem” that includes the main sector stakeholders at regional, national and international levels, effectively connecting the local dimension with the supra-local, facilitating the processes of innovation, capacity building and empowerment of human capital essential for the enhancement of these territories.
The teaching activities are organized in such a way as to create the conditions for the independence of the student in the context of the courses provided in the study plan. This is organized and delivered in such a way as to favour participation and interaction in lectures, individual and group work (cooperative learning), the critical analysis of case studies, the comparison and direct interaction with the natural, agro-forestry, and socioeconomic environments specific to the mountain territory.
Teaching activities will include laboratories, workshops, group exercises, design challenges and problem solving, including activities in the natural and virtual environment, contamination labs, both multidisciplinary and interactive, which stimulate students to transform ideas into concrete projects/products/services. Activities may also include the participation of representative stakeholders, as well as discussion forums, including the use of digital platforms and tools.
PROFESSIONAL PROFILE AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
The graduate in VALORIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF MOUNTAIN AREAS is a specialist in the enhancement and sustainable development of mountain areas who operates using innovative and specific scientific and technological methods and approaches with particular reference to the analysis, monitoring, conservation, management and enhancement of natural and agro-forestry resources (e.g. analysis and monitoring of mountain ecosystems, planning of forestry and silvicultural restoration and conservationactions, protection and production functions including ecosystem services; collaboration in defining natural resource management plans, enhancing agrobiodiversity, etc.).
The graduate will be able to collaborate in the design, implementation and promotion of unique products and/or services of economic and/or social value deriving from the environmental and agroforestry resources of the mountain territory (e.g. planning and coordinating interdisciplinary interventions for the tourist/recreational and educational use of the territory; enhance and promote the use of energy from renewable sources, with specific reference to local sources and the forest-wood-energy supply chain; collaborate in defining processes for enhancing traditional and innovative local products, etc.).
The graduate can use their training for the identification of business strategies and resource enhancement in relation to specific governance and development policies and regulations, participation in the
management of projects for the enhancement and development of the mountain territory in the context of local, regional and national programs, and European and international cooperation. The graduate can apply digital technologies and communication methods to networking, strategic marketing and scientific dissemination of environmental resources and products and services of mountain areas.
Additionally, graduates will have the ability to understand and interpret the specific legal, administrative and socio-economic cultural framework of these territories, to understand dynamic phenomena related to change (climatic and demographic), within the context of the planning of interventions allowing ecological and digital transitions for the definition of new models of sustainable development.